Portuguese food retailer Continente has announced that is participating in an EU co-funded project that aims to find an alternative to plastics in packaging.
Co-funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, YPACK will create biodegradable and compostable packaging with greater food preservation capacity, that will also contribute to reducing food waste.
Other Portuguese participants in the consortium include the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, the University of Minho, and the New University of Lisbon.
Continente is the only Portuguese food retailer to take part in the YPACK project and the retailer aims to test biodegradable and compostable packaging in its establishments between now and the end of 2019.
Launched in November 2017 and scheduled to last for three years, the YPACK project is being carried out at the Institute of Agrochemicals and Food Technology in Valencia in Spain.
It has already designed several prototypes of bags, cuvettes, and film for packaging fruit, vegetables, bread or meat.
The material will decompose naturally after 50 days in soil and in less than 100 days in the ocean.
YPACK's efforts will result in the introduction of a new type of biodegradable packaging that keeps food fresh and safe for a longer period.
Economically Viable Solutions
Continente's participation in this project is part of its 'Commitment to the Responsible Use of Plastics', wherein the retailer aims to find alternative and economically viable solutions to reduce the use of plastics, with particular focus on single-use products.
The retailer intends to substitute plastics with sustainable alternatives that can be reused and recycled, and eliminate the use of unnecessary materials and plastics in private-label product packaging.
Continente has been implementing several measures on the responsible use of plastics through partnerships with national and international universities on research projects.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.